** Havok interview is on p 57. **
Havok's place in the games industry is almost unrivaled and no doubt enviable. With its Physics code widely used around the world, a second Animation product out and its Behaviour AI software currently in beta, it's the perfect example of the world of Middleware 2.0. Michael French catches up with CEO Dave O'Meara...
A few months back we wrote about the world of Middleware 2.0, with developers favouring modular technology solutions. As one of the middleware market leaders, how do you think the market and model for that has developed?
With the new generation of consoles – and particularly on the PS3 – things have really taken off because it's a difficult and complex architecture, but a brilliant one to have at your disposal and get a game right for. So the number of PS3 titles we are on is growing very quickly. In terms of physics, studios definitely want that approach to the business so they don't have to rely on such technology to be made in-house. What studios want is risk minimization and to be confident that there is help if they need it. This hasn't happened overnight, though. It wasn't until 2003, particularly with the release of things like Half-Life 2, that it really made itself work. Also, I think it's a great model for new middleware companies to break into because the customer wants to know that technology is financially viable and stable and that you won't run off or be signed up to just one publisher. There are a lot of things to do with resiliance and reliability, which means new companies can step in to offer that.